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“Beware unsafe in-room safe” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Lao Orchid Hotel

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Lao Orchid Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Chao Anou Rd., Vat Chanh, Vientiane, Laos   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 81 Hotels in Vientiane
New York City, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Beware unsafe in-room safe”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

Unsuspecting travelers should beware of in-room safe offered in this hotel, as well as several others in Laos.

The in-room safe is advertised in this hotel's website, as one of the hotel safety features.

When you check in, no other safe is offered.

Their in-room safe is fairly small-sized, antiquated model that, as I learned only later, can be easily opened by any hotel employee (and possibly anybody else) using a simple, basic universal master-key, the kind that can be purchased in many home stores, bypassing the so-called "secret code" that the guest chose, without leaving any traces.

Worse yet,: opening the safe by using the hotel master-key in this fashion does not cancel or reset the guest code. The user of the master-key can easily re-close the safe after opening it by the same master-key, and the guest would not even know that the safe has been opened or its contents interfered with, since everything seems normal and the code still "works".

If the thief is clever and not excessively greedy, he would not steal the entire contents of the safe, but rather only a part of it (i.e., a few banknotes), which makes it much less apparent, so that the guest would not notice the theft until it is too late and he has left the hotel.

There are additional issues that one should be aware of.

Setting a new code for a new guest is a process that also invites trouble and may possibly also invite future interference with the safe. The hotel staff apparently does not reset or cancel the code of the previous guest (at least in my case), and that code does not reset by itself. No verbal instructions are given about it when you check in. Thus if you are not very familiar with those particular old models, you are more than likely to punch in a new code, thinking that this is going to be your code, put your money inside and lock it up and then find out that the new code has been ignored since the safe still works on an older code, and you cannot access your money inside. You then have to call housekeeping, which arrives promptly with this basic master-key and opens the safe for you, while of course witnessing its contents.

There is an additional particular safety concern with this hotel: there is direct elevator access from the street level to the room floors and vice versal, completely bypassing the front desk (which is on the 1st floor, not the ground floor).

After staying one night in this hotel, and moving on to my next destination, I discovered belatedly that I had cash missing from my money belt. This was after I had gone through the "accidentally locked safe" / "rescue by master-key from housekeeping" routine as described above. Like most guests, I did not recount the money in my belt when I checked out, as I naturally assumed it had been safely locked away in the room safe and there was no need to do so. Also only a part of the cash was missing, thus a quick look at the cash without full and accurate counting would not have alerted the unsuspecting guest that money was stolen, since only several banknotes had been carefully shaven away from the pack, in a way that makes it visually inconspicuous.

When I emailed the hotel about it, I received a very aggressive and unpleasant reply, and from then onwards all additional correspondence from me was completely ignored by the hotel.

From comments in Tripadvisor by at least two other guests in this hotel who had complained about money being stolen from the room, I learned that the hotel may have closed-circuit cameras on the floors, although one reviewer in this website suspected that they are intentionally misdirected so that one cannot see who enters the room. I requested that review of the camera tapes be conducted. That too was ignored by the hotel. This was also in accordance with the comments by those two reviewers about the hotel's conduct in such cases, and I now regret not paying attention to those warnings before checking into this hotel (one rewview in Tripadvisor website was in Russian and required translation, thus I had not paid attention to it beforehand).

Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
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275 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
Date | Rating
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English first
Antwerp, Belgium
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

Good location, close to the Mehkong riverbank. Clean room, overlooking a wat. Separate shower. No wifi in room, but good in reception area.

Full breakfast buffer, including eggs cooked to order.

Some street noise in street facing room.

Room Tip: Some street noise in street facing rooms.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

This was by some distance the most expensive accommodation of our 3 weeks in Laos ($75/night for double room with extra mattress on the floor, including buffet breakfast).

In truth it was disappointing at that price although I have nothing to compare it with in Vientiane, which being the Capital city may well offer less value for money than elsewhere.

It was however clean, comfortable, had a separate shower area to the WC and more furniture and extras than we had had elsewhere.

The breakfast was ok but the hot items could have been hotter.

The staff were all friendly and those on the reception desk were particularly helpful.

The location near the Mekong and the night market was good.

The hotel car to the railway station was comfortable, convenient and competitively priced.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok
Top Contributor
183 reviews 183 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

Rooms were clean, cable TV worked fine etc. Didn't eat at the hotel nor really hang around too much so not a lot to comment about. The hotel is near the river and around the corner from a notorious bar or 2. Staff were helpful and friendly.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

Stayed 25 to 28 jan.Did cut the visit short by one day not because of the Hotel but two days in Veitiane is enough.
The staff is helpful, the rooms ok but the price is a little bit to high for what is offered.
The brakfast was ok , nothing fancy but contained what you need in terms of yougurth , fruit etc.
For me it was a standard hotel with good location

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
63 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

Since first reviewing this hotel some years ago, have stayed 2 or 3 more times, lastly this month. Hotel facilities & amenities still very good, staff polite & helpful, breakfast reasonable, but I find it hard to justify a rate increase of 30% which is out of step with other Vientiane hotels.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

The descriptions and photos on the hotel website match reality. Deluxe double is 30 sqm, but that includes the bathroom and a little access corridor, so the actual room size is about 24-25. The place is absolutely spotless, staff is polite and helpful. Don't blame them for their language skills; the educational system in Laos being what it is, they are doing very well. I found the breakfast buffet (included) disappointing: little to no choice in bread, pastries, cheese, cold cuts; and the coffee was so-so. Still very good value in its categorie.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lao Orchid Hotel

Address: Chao Anou Rd., Vat Chanh, Vientiane, Laos
Location: Laos > Vientiane Province > Vientiane
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Vientiane
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Lao Orchid Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 33
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Also Known As:
Hotel Lao Orchid
Lao Orchid Vientiane

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